Monday, September 22, 2008

Holy fluid removal, batman!

As you can see, we all survived the weekend. Mom will still most likely be gone in two weeks - I reread the booklet that hopsice gave us over the weekend and mom is definitely in the "one to two weeks" category. When we saw her on Friday, her nose and lips were a lavender color - matched her shirt very well. She's starting to have trouble with her body temperature - vascillating wildly between hot and cold, sweating buckets and freezing her ass off. Her confusion/weird dreams are getting worse - she tells me the things she's dreaming and I THINK they all have a kernel of truth, but they're also all confused with each other and tangled like a skein of yarn.

The title of this post? Well, Friday they finally got mom in for her periocentesis. The docs removed 13 liters of fluid from her abdomen. That's equal to 3.4 gallons. She lost 35 pounds between Friday and Saturday mornings. :) Mom feels a lot better with all that gone. She actually ate half a hamburger and some fries Friday night, some pears and cottage cheese Saturday morning, mac and cheese Saturday night, and had part of a steak and mashed potatoes and green beans for dinner on Sunday! That's more than she's eaten in two weeks - and she didn't even get sick.

I wish I could say she's getting better, but she won't. Ever. I had someone ask me Saturday night at dad's VFW post if my mom was "getting better". I wanted to reply with " She's dying. She's not going to get better. It's a cancer with no treatment. It doesn't go away on it's own." I didn't - I just said she was feeling better after the fluid removal. I don't know how to respond to stuff like that. "I hope your mom gets better." Well...not going to happen and if you think it is then you're in denial big time. At least dad and the doctors are dong what they can to make her as comfortable as possible until the end.

The disorientation is hard for me to deal with. I know that as long as it's not harmful I should go along with it, but even that is shaky ground. For example, during one "episode" Saturday night, she was having babies. She was having OTHER people's babies, actually, since she'd already had her own. (How ironic that the mother of an infertile girl is a surrogate...) At any rate, she was looking for the papers for the babies and asked me where they were. I told her the nurse had them (I didn't know what else to say). She gave me a dirty look, rolled her eyes and said "Terrific. I have to have them, because now I don't know what to say to cover for them." Apparently "the nurse has them" was the wrong thing to say...but I'm flying blind. Putting my acting skills to the max, I guess.

Well, it's off to my next class for me. I'll try to keep you updated as there's changes.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Radio Silence

I know I've been awfully quiet lately. There's a good reason for that, aside from school having started up four weks ago.

I am having a hard time facing everything that is going on. Mom is declining rapidly - hospice says probably less than 2 weeks, give or take a few days. You could really hear the rattle in her breathing yesterday and the day before, she's losing her color and her eyes are sinking. Her kidneys and liver are failing fast - the ammonia is starting to build up in her system and her brain is starting to "pickle", for lack of a better term. Mom is much...angrier, I guess, would be the word although it's not quite right. She repeatedly tells me my father is being an ass, which is unusual for her to do even though he is. I mean, he's not really...he's just hovering and it drives her batty. She tried to dial the phone the other night and couldn't make it work, so dad offered to do it for her (more likely said "Just give it to me and I'll do it") and she got royally pissed at him. REALLY not like her. I mean, she has a temper but she does really well at controlling it and something like that would never have set it off.

I'm panicking. I've lost my mother. I used to be able to talk to her for 45 minutes and now I can't keep her attention for 45 seconds. She sleeps 18 hours a day at least. She doesn't even LOOK like my mother anymore. I'm scared. I'm terrified. I'm adrift.

I am going down again this weekend. My uncle came into town on Tuesday to go see my mother before she dies. My sister is also apparently coming down this weekend and bringing my brother-in-law with her. My sister's brother-in-law (not mine...half sister's half sister...what a tree we have!) came to visit yesterday. Aaron called in to wok today with a "family emergency" and is going with me - I just can't handle this on my own. I just can't. I don't want to go this weekend - I haven't wanted to go all week - and if mom is going to die on me I am NOT doing this by myself. I asked him, he didn't even think about it - just asked a friend if he would dogsit for us. Bless Andrew's heart, HE didn't even think about it either, just said he would. I love my friends...

At any rate, I verified to mom that we were all coming and she said "I'll try to die this weekend so it really will be a family emergency." I...she....we....

I can't type any more. I'm in class and am ready to burst into tears. I somehow doubt my professor would appreciate that. I'll try to update when I get back. At the very least, if the worst happens, I'll email Mel and maybe she can put it on the LFCA.